Antiwar demonstrators protest in Central Park, march to UN building, included students and hippies and priests and nuns, burn draft cards, shouted confrontations with anti-antiwar marchers, prowar signs, Martin Luther King leads procession; another march in downtown San Francisco down Market Street to stadium, sponsored by loose coalition of left-wing anti-war groups, "President Johnson meanwhile let it be known that the FBI is closely watching all anti-war activity."- violence in Rome in night demonstration near US embassy, water jets used (partial newsreel)
Reviewer:Wilford B. Wolf -
April 17, 2005 Subject:
The real face of the Summer of Love
A fragment of a newsreel from the very end of the era covering demonstrations against the Vietnam War in New York, San Francisco and Rome. Probably more than any document that I've seen, this newsreel clip clearly documents the sometimes ambivilent feelings of mainstream America during this era. Terms like "beatnik" and "hippie" are used interchangibly, and they are lumped in with all stripes of anti-war protestors. There is a tendancy from our contemporary standpoint to look upon the hippies of the late 1960s as the predominant force in American life, but as this newsreel makes clear, they were viewed as a radicial margin.
Another point that is often not noted enough is the cross over between the civil rights and anti-war protestors. While the goals of the two groups were often different, and those differences would become more pronounced after the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, there was also times would the various groups would work together, here demonstrated by Dr. Martin Luther King speaking out against the war.
Another interesting aspect of this clip is the almost casual throwaway manner that the announcer states that President Johnson warned that Hoover's FBI was keeping tabs on leftwing groups, which was revealed in the 1980s to some shock how extensive it was (including dossiers on prominent figures such as Dr. King, Elvis Presley, and John Lennon).
Finally, the clip begins with a fragment of another audio source and seems to end a bit abruptly, but there is some fine footage of war demonstrators, war supporters, hippies, and most notably, Dr. Martin Luther King walking with a group of men.